With an extensive background in seafood and a passion for Italian cuisine, Chef de Cuisine, Bill Montagne, brings a refined yet approachable cooking style to Nico Osteria’s kitchen. Growing up in a family of chefs made Montagne’s desire to cook inevitable. His love of the kitchen began at an early age where he often found himself cooking for family gatherings alongside relatives who had honed their skills in restaurants like the famed Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Early exposure to flavors, technique and passion for food led Montagne to various restaurant jobs throughout high school and ultimately to the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, where he graduated in 2004. Upon graduation, Montagne moved to Chicago where he began his professional career at high-end restaurants such as Les Nomades and NoMi. He then moved to New York to further hone his craft where he was named sous chef at the three-star Michelin, Relais & Châteaux, Le Bernardin, where he spent four years working under the tutelage of world-renowned chef Eric Ripert. Returning to Chicago, Montagne joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as Corporate Chef for their fine dining division. In February 2016, Montagne broke out on his own and opened the casual seafood restaurant, Snaggletooth, bringing straightforward and approachable seafood back to Chicago’s dining scene. At Nico Osteria, Montagne creates a welcoming, neighborhood environment where Chicago locals, visitors and Thompson hotel guests can experience impeccable seafood and rustic Italian fare no matter the time of day.